Analyzing data on the 37,347 students of the 2013 US DP cohort (50% full-IB), a recent report found that they were much more likely to enroll in college than the average American student. While the national average stands at 66%, over 82% of US IB students enrolled in a postsecondary institution. What is more, 74.7% attended a 4-year institution, while only 40% did in the general population, and most of them (64.2%) joined a “more selective” one.
Likewise, while the general 4-year graduation rate only stands at 41.1%, it reached 61.6% for IB students. The “IB effect” was significant even for non-full IB students (55.8%), but larger for full-IB students (66.5%), especially when they received the diploma (74.4%).
For non-full IB students, the number of IB courses they took was a strong predictor of both outcomes, each additional IB course taken increasing their odds of attending and graduating college by 32% and 12% respectively. For full-DP students, each additional point earned on the final exam increased their odds of attending and graduating college by 5% and 13% respectively.
Interestingly, the points students can earn from TOK and the Extended Essay were particularly effective at identifying students who were likely to succeed in college, each additional point increasing a student’s odds of graduating within 4 years by 46%.
Importantly, this "IB effect" held even after controlling for relevant demographic characteristics. It should also be noted that 93% of the IB sample attended public schools.
Reference: Pilchen, Caspary, Woodworth, “Postsecondary Outcomes of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Graduates in the United States” (2020)